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Homemade Curry Powder

January 12, 2011

I realized yesterday, when I was writing my post about curry and rice, that I had never posted a recipe for curry–the spice, not the dish (I’ve posted them for the dish).

What I’ve learned in my years cooking Indian food is that no real Indian recipes call for curry powder. British recipes call for curry powder. If you get an Indian cookbook (which I’d recommend doing if you like Indian food) you’ll find all kinds of spices and spice blends called for–but none of them will be called curry. So keep your curry for less-authentic Indian cooking and be OK with that.

(There is, however, a curry plant from which the leaves are taken and used (kind of like bay leaves) in Sri Lankan and western Indian food. You can find these in the freezers of Indian grocery shops around North America.)

My recipe for curry powder is adapted from one I found several years ago. There are oodles of recipes for these on the internet and each is different, so if you want to make your own, I’d recommend trying several different ones for awhile to see what you like.

Homemade Curry Powder

2 dried red chilies, stemmed

1 T. coriander seeds (Get your spiced from the health food store in bulk. It’s MUCH cheaper than buying those $4.00 jars at the grocery store.)

1 T. fennel seeds

1 t. cumin seeds

1 t. ground mace

1 t. ground white pepper

1/2 t. tumeric

Combine chilies, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cumin seeds in a small bowl. Mix. Place them in a small skillet (preferably an iron one) and dry roast over medium-low heat until the seeds begin to dry, are slightly darker in color, and are fragrant. Cool. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the seeds. (You can also use a seed grinder or coffee mill, but I find that a little old-fashioned elbow grease is just as efficient.) Add the mace, white pepper and tumeric. Mix. Store in a small, airtight jar (preferably glass) in the refrigerator. Makes about 1/4 C.

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